SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – D’Angelo Russell and the new-look Lakers figured things out on the fly to take down the defending champs on their home floor.
Working to get in sync with his new teammates and eager to complement Anthony Davis and LeBron James, Russell communicated on the court all game long after rejoining his first team where he played from 2015-17.
The Lakers picked Russell second overall in 2015 out of Ohio State.
He had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds in his Lakers return after being acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline.
Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, and Los Angeles beat the Golden State Warriors 109-103 yesterday in a rivalry missing the star power of injured greats LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
“It was a little weird but I’m trying to normalise it,” said Russell, who also played 33 games for the Warriors during the 2019-20 season.
“The sooner the better. I’ve been in this situation. After that first stint you kind of get comfortable again. When you get traded so many times the irony comes back with all these teams and just kind of normalise it.”
Schroder made a key layup with 1:17 to play after Donte DiVincenzo’s three-pointer cut the Lakers’ lead to 105-101. Davis had a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds and blocked one of his three shots on a late jumper by Klay Thompson.
“Me and D’Lo literally talked the entire game, about pick-and-roll, what he sees, what I see, what he like, what I like … just trying to build that chemistry on the fly, with no practice,” Davis said.
Jordan Poole had 29 points and six assists with a key go-ahead three-point play with 6:23 remaining, but the Warriors floundered down the stretch of the fourth quarter again. He was whistled for an offensive foul with 45 seconds left.
“They’re frustrated we couldn’t close out these last two games,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We just haven’t been able to string together enough wins to create a little momentum and separation in the standings.”